I remember sitting back during Juventus’ handful preseason friendlies thinking one thing when it came to Paulo Dybala. No, it had nothing to do with his boyish good looks or his anticipated bump up in pay that will see his salary increase quite handsomely. (See what I did there?) No, it simply involved just how well Dybala was playing in each one of those games in late-July and early-August.
Dybala scored goal after goal after goal in the preseason. And the common line of thinking was that he’d carry that fine form from the preseason right into the Serie A season and then the Champions League. That’s just how it’s supposed to work. Or maybe that’s how we wanted all of this to work when it comes to one of Juventus’ best and most important puzzle pieces.
Turns out, it was far from that.
For all of his preseason goals, it was the exact opposite kind of start for Dybala through the first six weeks of the new Serie A season. Until Tuesday night in Croatia, that is. Dybala scored his first goal of the season in big-time fashion as Juventus picked up their first of hopefully many Champions League wins this season.
Pick whatever kind of adjective you want to describe that goal and they probably would be applicable. That goal is one of Dybala’s best in a Juventus uniform, no doubt about it. And maybe most important of all, it’s a goal that could kick-start Dybala into doing Dybala things once again.
There’s no doubting that Dybala’s first season in Turin pretty much surpassed all expectations we had for him. It set the bar high. Very, very high. And when he came out firing on all cylinders to start the preseason, it seemed as though Dybala was picking up right where he left off at the end of last season. And then the season actually started. Sure, he’s contributed a couple of assists, but it hasn’t been the same kind of explosive and always-threatening Dybala that we saw so often last season.
Until Tuesday night.
We had to wait for Dybala’s first goal this season. Definitely much longer than we thought we would have to coming into the season. It was a goal, though, that screamed Dybala’s confidence was free-flowing — something that he’s spoken about not exactly being up to scruff in recent weeks.
That’s why that goal truly matters. You get Dybala trying audacious shots from well, well outside of the penalty area and you get the player we’re so used to seeing. And that player we’re used to seeing is one of the best Serie A has to offer and somebody who is more than capable than putting a team on his young shoulders when the time calls for it.
You get Dybala clicking, you get the Dybala-Gonzalo Higuain tandem clicking and then Juventus’ offense will truly be clicking at the potential we all know it has.
It’s a trickle-down effect, folks. It’s that simple.
"It gets tougher with every game that you don't score," Dybala told reporters. "Fortunately, this time I scored and we played well."
"I hope that this is my return, although the first thing I think about is giving everything for the team," he added.
(Source: Yahoo! News)
We already know Dybala gives everything for the team, so it’s very nice that he’s reminding us just how classy of a young man he is. Just watch how he gets knocked around by opposing teams pretty much every time they have a chance to get a crack at him. But for Juventus, having Dybala be Dybala again will be more than just a little bit of a positive development.
One goal can turn into two goals. Two goals into three goals. And so on, and so on and so on. The more Dybala goals the better, if you ask me.